This Goat Cheese with Pancetta is one of Lenny’s favorite recipes, and such a simple one to make. I am not sure why we do not make it more often. Tangy Goat Cheese is gently wrapped with pancetta and pan seared until golden on the outside and warm and gooey on the inside before drizzling fragrant honey over the over and serving with warm bread.
We had a friend in from Dinant Belgium. It was great to see him as it has been a couple years since we were out there. We spent the weekend eating and drinking, not any different then when we were there last. Since he has been here before, we did not need to do the usual San Francisco tourist gig, so we took a drive up the coast to Marshall for some oysters, good seafood and wine. It was great to get out of the city and it was even greater to suck down some fresh plucked oysters – so tasty! On our way back through the city we took a detour over to Liverpool Lil’s for a couple pints of icy cold beer, which just made us really hungry for sushi. Our next stop on the “eating tour” was Sushi Zone. We love this little gem of a sushi joint and we converted Vincent as well. Their mango baked sea bass has got to be one of the best things you can put into your mouth! After plates upon plates of sushi we made Absinthe our last stop for a couple night time cocktails – great spot for old classic cocktails with an updated twist.
Now all this food hopping around the bay was fantastically fun; but, I have to say the meal we had at Chez Us was even better. We had been saving some beef that we had left over from our Argentina New Years dinner – saving it for a special evening. We could not think of a better meal then with a friend from over seas. The Estancia Beef is really fantastic and if you get a chance to have it, do!
We started the evening by letting Vincent into the kitchen to make one of Lenny’s favorite appetizers from when he was living in Belgium. It was a goat cheese (we used one regular one and one infused with truffles) wrapped in pancetta and then pan seared until the bacon was golden and the cheese melted. Before serving Vincent drizzled it with chestnut honey. This was mouthwatering! The saltiness of the pancetta, creaminess of the cheese and the sweetness of the honey was brilliant. Definitely one of my new favorite foods!
Our main course was fillet of beef lightly seasoned with sea salt, pepper and some olive oil and then pan seared. We served it with Kalamata Olive Chimichurri which really complimented the grassiness of the beef. Along the side was roasted baby potatoes with rosemary and steamed green beans and lots of red wine and fresh baguettes. (sorry there are no photos too busy eating; but, I did include two recipes)
Goat Cheese with Pancetta
1 small round goat cheese
2 thin slices of pancetta
2 tablespoons honey
Tightly wrap the goat cheese with the pancetta. Pan sear over low – medium heat until the pancetta is golden and the cheese lightly melted. Remove from heat and plate. Drizzle with honey. Serve with baguette. Eat.
Kalamata Olive Chimichurri
*adapted from Bon Appetit
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves; 2 thinly sliced, 2 pressed
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 bay leaf, preferably fresh, broken in half
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 to 2 tablespoons water
Heat olive oil in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add sliced garlic, red pepper, and bay leaf. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add shallots and sauté until just translucent, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in parsley, olives, and vinegar. Add 1 tablespoon water. Add more water by teaspoonfuls to thin as needed. Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.